Allegory And Symbolism In 'Counterparts'

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In “Counterparts”, another reason for Farrington's rage and frustration is expressed to be due to his lack of physical strength as the store progresses. When challenged to engage in an arm wrestling contest against Weathers, he is, once again, tempted to escape the demeaning situation: He felt humiliated and discontented; he did not even feel drunk; and he had only twopence in his pocket. He cursed everything. He had done for himself in the office, pawned his watch, spent all his money; and he had not even got drunk. He began to feel thirsty again and he longed to be back again in the hot reeking public-house. He had lost his reputation as a strong man, having been defeated twice by a mere boy. His heart swelled with fury and, when he thought…show more content…
Moreover, while the market is more or less empty and useless and has nothing to offer to the main protagonist, it is easy to assume that there are things to purchase somewhere outside of Dublin. Yet this only deepens the character's frustration with the lack of resources in his surroundings, as he is very much subjected to the social, political and economic status of Dublin. Being a member of a lower class family, and having to rely on occasional pocket money from his uncle, he finds it rather difficult to buy a gift for a girl. Although wealth does not end up being the primary reason his quest becomes unsuccessful, he is aware of the expenses of his mission, such as the price of the train: “I held a florin tightly in my hand as I strode down Buckingham Street towards the station. The sight of the streets thronged with buyers and glaring with gas recalled to me the purpose of my journey. I took my seat in a third-class carriage of a deserted train” (Joyce 25). In the end, after recognizing that he does not have money to buy anything, and his quest has become pointless, he contemplates: “Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity: and my eyes burned with anguish and anger” (Joyce 27). Furthermore, at the bazaar, the young woman and the two men are the only characters who are in possession of economic, social and cultural power; they are seen counting money, while boy was listening “to the fall of the coins” (Joyce 26), while he spent the most of his budget getting there. More importantly, though, they seem to be superior to him because they are English, reflecting on the oppressive power of England over Ireland at the time. By mentioning their accents and their arrogance and indifference to the story’s narrator, Joyce is making a reference to the imperial colonization of
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